Thursday, January 31, 2013

life today....

Well everyone is back at school/work and life returns to familiar routines.  

The new high school kid seems to have taken it all in his stride and has reported no problems, so that's a good thing.  The older two are back in the swing of things too.

 I have been trying to enthuse my eldest son who is starting year 12 (final year of school), but have come to the realisation that he is just going to have to find motivation to do well himself.  I have to step back and let him create his own priorities, I am sure it will all work out in the end.

My middle son is starting year 9, and the school are trying a new program one day a week this year, to try and address the lack of engagement the kids show at this point in their teenage years.  He is actually quite excited about it, they are going rock climbing tomorrow, so I think they might be onto a winner, I hope it generates the kids interest and they get more out of the year.

I have decided that I am going to do a nice long walk each morning as soon as the boys leave for school, I have some serious weight to lose and I feel that this year is make or break!  
I started yesterday, and did one today as well, and now I can hardly move!  I can feel all the muscles in my legs and bum, and they are not happy!  
I think it will take a week to get to the point where I am not sore, so I am persevering.  I didn't realise how unfit I had become, it is quite confronting!  I have found a good app on my phone , nike +running, that gives you lots of stats and info to keep it interesting, and it maps the routes you take and measures how far you have gone and your speed and all that kind of thing.  I am not at the running stage yet, but I think it should help me stay motivated.

I have also been playing around with this cute motif, using my Annell cottons that I bought from The Yvestown Shop online.  This is the same motif I started making my summer tablecloth with, but these have turned out a bit bigger, so I will have to start a new one using just this yarn.  The pattern for this motif is from one of those cute Japanese crochet books, but I am sorry, I have no idea what it is called.

These colours are a lot warmer than I usually use, but I think it will look good when I get a few other colours into the mix.  I think I will join this as I go otherwise it could be a bit tedious sewing it all together.
I am also hooking away at my star stitch blanket and am over half way think! Yay!  Hoping to get that finished in a few weeks, quicker maybe if I can not feel guilty about crocheting during the day.

We are off to a family dinner at our local Chinese tonight to celebrate our eldest turning 17 today, Happy Birthday Jess, those years have flown!!

What are you up to at the moment? 
Are you fit and into exercise?
Hope you are all doing things that make you happy, life is really too short to do anything else isn't it?

See ya!

Monday, January 28, 2013

4/52 Year of Happy

Four things that have made me smile this week:

1. Picking the first vase of dahlias for the year. Gorgeous.
2. Bringing out an old project to work on and rekindling my enthusiasm for it.
3. Finding a new magazine to read, and having a spare hour to enjoy it, out in the sun, feet up.
4. Purple capsicums getting big and ripening, hidden behind a wall of green. Yum.

Have you found something that made you smile this week?

Joining in with Jen at little birdie and her 52 weeks of happiness.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Summer days....

So, what's been happening at your place?

We have been enjoying some lovely warm days and evenings here, and making the most of the late sunsets.  I hear it is freezing in the Northern Hemisphere, very hard to imagine with the heat we are having, I hope everyone is staying warm and dry!

Max got a new game for Christmas called Finska, it is a Scandinavian game I think, a bit like bowls and bocci, you play it outside and lots of people can play, and you can pick up the rules in about 2 minutes. It is easy, fun and good for all ages

I was looking for something a bit old school for Max, as we have a very techno focused house and the boys spend a lot of time playing Xbox and the like, so this game was something a bit different.

I have to say it has been a big hit!  We have been having games of Finska after dinner, and it has been a great family time.  The game is surprisingly compelling, easy to play, yet taking some skill to be good at, so it is feeding our competitive spirits, and the boys are getting into the challenge. ( So am I, my boys have to play well to beat me, I am discovering that I am quite competitive!! lol)  We have also taken it to the park and played it with friends in teams, which was fun too.

Have you heard of this game? I always like it when I find something new to me that is a hit in our house, often Christmas presents are 5 minute wonders.

...the chickens like that we are outside in the evenings at the moment, they have found a new spot to keep an eye on the action.  (and just to prove that I 'keep it real' on this blog, check out the amount of crap we have in this part of the garden, it's my 'dump everything that I don't want to look at' area.  Must clean it up one day!)

The Summer holidays are nearly over (sob), the boys are starting school next Wednesday, so things will be back to a routine, so I am trying to soak up the last few days of non-routine, I really like no routine!

We are spending a lot of time at the beach and my parents place ( who have a pool that is lovely on windy days), so plenty of reading and relaxing going on, not so much crochet and crafting.  I am trying to write down ideas for things I want to make this year, to get more organised and be more productive and less procrastinate-y.  I'll see how well that works out for me!

Hope you are enjoying the last days of school holidays if you're in Australia and have school age kids!
If you live somewhere else, I hope life is just as good for you too!  :)

Talk soon, see you later!

PS.  Happy Australia Day for tomorrow!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

3/52 Year of Happy

Four things/moments that have made me happy this week.

1. Getting stuck into my craft space and giving it a long needed clean up, the shelves are tidy now, and the rest of the room was tidied up after this photo.

2. Homemade chicken and sweetcorn soup. Delish.

3. Sweetcorn growing gangbusters in the garden, I'm being good this year and watering regularly!

4. Tennis in Melbourne.  The boys and I and my friend and her boys went to the Australian Open last Tuesday and had a great day, there is something a bit addictive about the tennis! (Great to watch while hooking away on my star stitch blanket too!)


Friday, January 18, 2013

Daisy bobble balls

I thought I'd show you what I have been making this week.  I have been quite productive these holidays, it's been good!!  
Remember I was making those cute hexagon daisy motifs last week?  
Well, this is what I  have made them into, 3 little soft, colourful balls. 
Do you think little people would like to play with these?  
I know they are a bit of an old school toy, but I thought babies might respond to the colour and the textured soft surface of the ball.
Apologies for the overkill of photos, but I got a bit caught up in all the happy colourful possibilities of these pictures and thought I'd just whack them up here anyway.

I have to admit I do like these!  Even if they are a totally useless, there is something about the 
bobbley-ness and patchwork effect that I really like, I keep having to touch them and throw them around a bit.  Toy making is fun!  Who knows, I might even make a heap more and have a big basket of daisy balls to play with, I think they'd look good hanging from the ceiling too, maybe a mobile....hmmm.... plenty of ideas....

I hope these brighten your day like they have mine! 
What have you been making lately?

Heres another link to Karen's ace pattern for the daisy hexagon motif, just because it is so good!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

yarn along


How are you all?  

I'm good, holiday mode is in full swing, the boys are sleeping in till late morning,  lots of time for some quiet crochet before the heat of the day sets in.  We are heading for a scorcher tomorrow, so will probably look for a swim at some stage.  Lots of icy drinks and lazing about in the shade,  holiday time really does suit me, I think I have a lazy streak that is able to indulged at this time of year!   haha..

Anyhoo, I am joining in with Ginny and the yarn along gang today,  I have been reading lots of lovely crochet, crafty type books recently, getting all inspired and full of ideas.  This one, 'Simple Crochet' is a lovely looking book with some very nice projects in it, and the photos are beautiful. I went a bit crazy before Christmas and bought a heap of new books, and am enjoying browsing through them now when things are more leisurely and relaxed. 

I have started working on another star stitch blanket this week.  It is quite exciting, a lovely reader emailed me and asked if she could order a blanket from me, of course I said yes!  So here I am with an actual crochet commission!  Who would have thought!  Anyway, I am quite chuffed and it is growing at a respectable rate, so hopefully will be finished before too long.

I hope you are all having a good week, and stay cool and safe in the heat, or stay warm and cosy in the cold to all the Northern Hemisphere ladies....

Talk soon  xx

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2/52 Year of Happy.

 1. New makes....more about this later

2. Crochet colour combos....

3.Out and about on the bikes....

4.Saturday night at the drive in, a bit of a fun family outing....

Four things this week that made me smile.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

new crochet beginnings...

Hello.  How's your week going? Mine's going fine, the weather has cooled of a little so it is nice to get a bit of crochet out.

I found this cute pattern the other day on Pinterest (gotta love it), and have had fun making some little flower hexagons, I really like how they have turned out! 

The pattern is called Puffed Daisy Hexagon, by Karen at Colour In a Simple Life, she has a great blog and lots of other lovely patterns available too, so it is worth having a look over there if you have a few minutes.

I think I may have found my hexagon pattern for the year, I have been trying to find a hexagon pattern that was quick and easy, I tried a couple of knitted ones, but I found them quite fiddly and difficult,
So I am so happy with this motif, I like the possibilities of 3 colour combos too, I have plenty of scrap bits of yarn to use up! 

......nice and colourful..... need of a bit of blocking I think......

Looking forward to this pile growing!

Thank you for saying hello over on my face book page, I really appreciate your warm welcome, although I haven't figured out how to leave comments on other peoples pages yet, ( my little picture thing doesn't show up and I am just a ghost head on any other page than my own!)  I'm sure I'll get there eventually!

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 Year of Happy 1/52

I've been seeing quite a few bloggers joining in with this project recently, and thought I would too!
 I like the idea of celebrating the little things in life that make us happy, I think this will help make me a bit more aware of all the good stuff that fills my days.
So Sundays are going to be my 'happy' week posts, 4 photos from the week of moments/things/experiences that have made me happy.

1. young fresh salad greens growing nicely in the garden. Yum.
2. rattlesnake beans. The most delicious bean I have ever tasted, crisp and tender, so worth growing!! 
If you live in Australia and like to grow your own, buy some seeds and grow these! Now!
(Seed from here) (although it seems they are out of stock!)
3. first dahlia of the season, welcome to summer!
4. icy cold drinks on a stifling day and my Orla Kiely tins waiting to be filled with stuff.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Crochet Along Update #6

Well I have been busy crocheting away on my big blanket recently, so I thought it was time for a new bit of the crochet along, in case anyone is still persevering with this on going project!

I have put the next 2 photos close together so you can see what I have done in a bit more detail, there is a bit of overlap, but I hope you can see what I mean.

Ok, here's what I have added :

After the lime and pale blue Catherine Wheel section comes
2 rows of sc in light aqua, (up and back),
Catherine Wheel section in salmon and mid blue,
2 rows of sc in mid green, (up and back),
4 single rows of sc alternating dark blue and mid green,
3 rows of tr clusters granny stripes in red, lime, and red again,
2 rows of sc (up and back) in each of the following colours, mid green, pale blue, spearmint, watermelon, and dark blue,
a section of outline cluster pattern in pink and light aqua, (see earlier update for this pattern)

....and that's where I'm up to at the moment!

I measured my progress so far and it is around 75 cm long so far, so I'm about a third of the way through.

How is your blanket growing?
Would you like me to organise a little linky thing so we can all share our blanket progress?

I will add this post to the bottom of the Crochet along Page so it is easier to find all these updates.

Talk soon!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Summer Crochet....Name Bunting

Hello there!

It has been a very hot day here, so the boys and I went to visit some family on Phillip Island, about an hour away from here.  We spent a very pleasant morning on the beach, the water was really nice and refreshing and we had fun catching waves and generally frolicking around.  Then we had a sun bake, some lazy reading and chatting on the beach, catching up with my cousins who I don't see very often, a lovely day indeed.  I was going to take some photos of our day, but when I went to use my camera I found the card thingy was missing. Doh!

So instead I am showing you pictures of some name bunting that I made for my nieces, supposedly for Christmas, but actually  finished a few days late.
The pattern was based loosely on the one in Granny Chic by dottie angel, although I had to make it a fair bit bigger and I added the scalloped edging for a bit more colour. 
(You can never have too much colour!)  :)

The colours look quite different inside.
I am pretty pleased with these little banners, I think they will look really cute and vintagey on the girls' doors.  

 I am also doing quite well with my big blanket progress, so hope to have an update for you later in the week.  I am very sorry for the slow progress of updates for my CAL, hopefully you ladies who have stuck it out are not too upset with me and have other projects to go to in the mean time, or better still are making it up as you go along, kind of like what I do!  Anyway, I am trying to get a fair bit done over the next few nights, we are in for a couple of scorcher days and nights, so I think I will try and get some crochet done when it's too hot to sleep.

Till next time, 
Bye Bye!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Day round here.....

Well hello there!
Happy New Year to you all!  How exciting, a brand new year to contemplate and fill with lots of interesting living!  Bring on 2013, it's going to be great!

Last night we went to a party at a friends home and saw the new year in with lots of lovely food, way too much champagne, a few very potent, delicious cocktails, late night disco dancing, and some great company and conversation.....we had a great time!  
My 2 younger boys came with us, and they and their friends spent the night swimming and playing in the pool and generally running amok!
It was a very late night for everyone, and the whole house was very sluggish this morning! (Jesse was out with his friends at a local party and didn't get home till 4.45am, so they didn't surface till lunchtime)

Needless to say I have spent a fair amount of time today slothing on the couch with the tennis on (tennis on the TV makes me feel very summery!) and my stripey mixed stitch blanket on my knee, happily hooking away.  

I was feeling a tiny bit seedy this morning, so thought a nice bowl of healthful strawberries might offset the result of a big party night.... it nearly worked, I feel healthier anyway!

We are lucky to have a strawberry farm fairly local to us, so these berries were delicious, so much more flavoursome than the supermarket ones.  I am getting the odd handful out of our garden too, if I can beat the birds to them that is!

Hope you had a great New Years whatever you are doing, and I'm looking forward to sharing another year of creativity, colour and life with you all in 2013 !